Higher education institutions make up a large number of the entries in a Top 100 Employers list of LGBT-friendly places to work.
In England and Wales, 14 higher education institutions have made the index, and for the second consecutive year Cardiff University is the sector’s top performer.
Created by Stonewall, the UK’s largest LGBT rights charity, the list is now in its thirteenth year. It is used by employers to assess their progress on LGBT equality in the workplace.
In the education sector, Manchester Metropolitan University (41) is the highest new entry in this year’s table, with the Open University (93) also joining the index for the first time.
The top five higher education institutions on the list are Cardiff University (23), Swansea University (31) and De Montfort University (39), with Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester in joint 41st place.
The list is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index. Employers are assessed on 10 areas of employment policy and practice, and a feedback form completed by staff evaluates workplace culture.
Despite the university sector’s strong performance in the league table, two institutions on the 2016 list failed to make the top 100 in 2017: the University of Essex and London South Bank University. A fall from the top 100 does not necessarily mean that an institution has performed worse than last year, but may instead show that overall the competition scored higher in 2017.
The University of Greenwich (82) was awarded Stonewall’s Network Group of the Year 2017 prize, an accolade recognising the work that LGBT staff network members have done to promote equality within the university.
The university held a series of seminars on topics relating to the LGBT community and their rights as well as hosting a symposium, Building Our Communities, attended by a number of organisations from the local area.
“Being part of the Top 100 is an achievement wherever an organisation places. Even taking the time to submit to the Index demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to evaluating and improving their policies and practices to maintain and create more inclusive workplaces,” a spokesman for Stonewall said.
This year the Top 100 Employers index had the largest amount of submissions to date, with 439 employers participating in the process and 91,248 employees completing the questionnaire, compared with 415 and 60,506 respectively in 2016.